BELOIT — More than 100 Beloit College students stood in the middle of the intersection of East Grand Avenue and Pleasant Street Monday evening in an apparent demonstration for racial justice.
The protesters block all lanes of traffic at the intersection, placing flowers in the middle of the intersection, and chanting slogans such as “No justice, no peace, no racist police.”
Many also carried signs reading Black Lives Matter or listed names of Black citizens who have recently been killed in police-involved shootings, such as Ma’Khia Bryant and Daunte Wright.
Shortly after Beloit police squad cars arrived on the scene, the protesters headed north on Pleasant Street without incident.
Some in the crowd acknowledged they were from Beloit College, but would not speak to reporters.
Beloit Police Chief Andre Sayles said Monday night the department had no prior notice of the protest, referencing to the protests in May and June of 2020 in response to the police killing of George Floyd. For those demonstrations in Beloit, the department worked in conjunction with protesters, and assisted in managing traffic control while protesters took to Riverside Drive.
“Typically we will work with groups protecting their First Amendment rights in a peaceful and safe manner,” Sayles said. “The protesters left after the Beloit Police Department explained the issue of blocking traffic.”